I had always grown up watching the Marine Corps commercials and kind of idolizing what it stood for. I always thought what the Marine Corps represented, what they always talked about, duty, honor, country, it really resonated with me.
Just the reputation the Marine Corps has as being the best and being the hardest and the toughest. I enlisted into the infantry and I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. At the end of the day, I got everything I signed up for. I got the training, I got the opportunity to go overseas and serve my country. I wouldn't change anything.
I got out of the Marine Corps in late 2009 and in January 2010, the earthquake hit Haiti. I was watching the 24-hour news cycle and I was seeing all the images that were coming out of Port-au-Prince and the thing that kept occurring to me is that it was no different than Fallujah, it was no different than Afghanistan. This was a circumstance I got have a positive impact in. I posted it on Facebook and William McNulty gave me a call a couple minutes later and said he wanted in.
Team Rubicon started down in Haiti after the Port-au-Prince earthquake. I had logged on to Facebook and saw that Jake issued a call to action. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and I called him up and said, "hey man, I'm in."
So William and I had never met in person prior to joining up in Dominican Republic. We knew of each other, we had spoken on the phone a number of times. He had been in the Marine Corps infantry, he moved into counter-intelligence but I knew that we spoke the same language and I knew we had been through the same trials and circumstances. That made me feel easy about going down there and having him as part of the team and crossing the border in to an uncertain situation like Haiti because we came from the same blood.
We immediately set to work. We were doing medical triage clinics all across the city. We were trying to go to the places none of the other aid organizations were willing or able to go.
The Marine Corps is all about mission accomplishment. When we went and hit Port-au-Prince, the mission was very clear. The Marine Corps certainly equipped me with a lot of the characteristics I needed to go out into the civilian world and succeed: dedication, perseverance, humility, judgment. All those things, the leadership traits that the Marine Corps hammers home every single day during boot camp, they pay dividends long after you get out.